The dip I thought was lack of sleep is indeed the return of my old friend the miserable bastard. I am struggling again in a way I haven’t since March this year and it feels strange to be back in the trench again after such a long time.
I have been used to three or four lulls a year over the last five years or so and they seem to be getting progressively worse. Invisible, but worse. Well i say invisible but people can see it in you and your expressions and pick it out from your words and tone. “You look depressed John” said one of the students last week – I almost said yes and then backed up and said that I was just tired. Still scared on some level of everyone knowing about it – or the questions about my ability to teach if I am having issues.
It’s so frustrating because I thought I had hit the ground running with the new job and I was prepared, organised, using the online learning tools to teach classes and provide extra support and now I’m sliding back down the metaphorical snake looking out for any ladders to grab on to on the way past. I know it was the right move for me to escape the school because I wasn’t happy regardless of the depression, but now I’m feeling like this again you start to doubt everything; choices made in the past and future decisions all look dubious regardless of the way I lean.
I don’t want to go to bed at night because I’m not sleeping well and almost feel better being tired but reasonably focussed sitting up at midnight or one in the morning, than lying in bed trying to sleep but instead counting the hours and minutes until I have to be up again. And I don’t want to get up. It is almost as if the chemicals in your head convince you that if you stay in bed hidden from the world no ill can befall you – both you and I know that this is nonsense but try telling my brain that.
The anger and frustration bubble up and turn into anxiety and sadness in a horrible magic trick. No sign of the positive JD of a few weeks ago, I can see it here in the blogs with the anger, bitter comments and excess sarcasm that fills each paragraph. But things have to be done. I’ve a job to do, to ensure the students get what they need – and obviously so we can pay the bills. i have been offered a doctor’s line in the past when I’ve felt like this but as much as I don’t want to get out of bed the routine and the job make me; I can’t opt out of life if there’s things that have to be done.
Maybe it’s the turn of the seasons as the leaves turn on the branches and the rain and wind batter the window both a work and at home. Maybe it’s just a reality check of the new job not being the escape I quite hoped for. Maybe it’s just me – the way I’m built: Awesome but not perfect. More than likely the chemical imbalance in my head has superceded the medication that keeps me level most of the time and avoids the minor dips – that could be why I’ve only had one real episode this year. Doesn’t help to know that because it doesn’t stop the feelings of helplessness and isolation.
I’m not going to do anything stupid – well no more stupid than I usually do, and I’m over conscious of my Ps & Qs here at work as I know how I got at times in the old job with my mouth working overtime and causing me problems. The family are fine and everything else is grand – it’s just this head of mine. Sometimes I wish I could trade it in and experience normality for a while, see life through the eyes of a less pendulous world of mood swings – would that make me happy? I’ll never find out and anyway without the highs and lows I wouldn’t be me in all my imperfect glory.
It sucks to be me.